Issue 1486 - Thursday 4th November, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

NSO Group placed in the USA's naughty list

NSO Group is now on the US Department of Commerce's Entity List because they "developed and supplied spyware to foreign governments that used these tools to maliciously target government officials, journalists, businesspeople, activists, academics, and embassy workers" as well as "enabled foreign governments to conduct transnational repression". The sudden change of heart probably has nothing to do with the French President (who had his mobile number leaked in a dump of people spied on by users of NSO Group's software) pissed off with the USA for that whole submarine thing with Australia. Then again, what would I, a bloke in still in pyjamas in the middle of the day writing newsletters from a dark room, know?

Boeing gets approval to compete with Starlink

Starlink, OneWeb and Amazon's Project Kuiper have a new competitor for space-based internet - Boeing. They've received approval from the USA's FCC to launch a satellite constellation that'll provide "broadband internet and communications services to residential consumers, government and business users in the United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands" at first, then expand to the rest of the world. Literally the same thing as Starlink. There's gonna be fucken thousands of these things buzzing around 1,000km above Earth, but hey, more choice could bring the price down so those without a robust fixed-line connection at least won't have to pay extra for it.

Telstra undercuts NBN plans with new fixed 5G service

Telstra finally launched a fixed 5G broadband plan and unsurprisingly, it undercuts NBN pricing. You can either get 1TB of 5G data for $85/m with speeds in the 50Mbps to 600Mbps range, or you can get an NBN plan with 50mbit for $95/m. If you were Telstra, which one do you think you'd try harder to sell? The one where you keep all the margin because you own all the infrastructure, or the one where you give the bulk of it away to someone else and have little control over the quality of service? With Optus and Vodafone/TPG doing it too, combined with the rise of Starlink, it's hard to overstate how goddamn cooked the NBN is and how cheap it'll be sold off in a few years because it's a pile of copper-based junk.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Razer making fancy face masks RGB LEDs all over it

You probably know Razer better as the company making gaudy, but often decent quality, gaming peripherals like mice, keyboards and headsets. They now sell gaudy looking face masks. The Zephyr costs US$99.99 and "includes the mask, a carrying tote, a USB-C charging cable, anti-fog spray, and three sets of replaceable N95 filters that will cover you for nine days of use". It actually seems pretty comfy with soft silicone components and loads of adjustments, but goddamn they couldn't resist putting RGB LEDs on it, could they?


The End

📻 I Hear Fake Voices - Trans Am

😎 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon.

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The Sizzle is created on Wathaurong land and acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, recognising their continuing connection to land, water and community. I pay my respect to them and their cultures and to elders both past and present.